Almost three quarters of marketers aged under 45, study finds

Given most marketers responding to Marketing Week’s exclusive 2023 Career and Salary Survey are aged 45 and under, does the industry have a persistent age issue to address? 

Does marketing have an age problem? Exclusive data from Marketing Week’s 2023 Career and Salary Survey reveals just how young the profession skews in terms of its age demographic.

Of the more than 3,000 marketers taking part in this year’s survey, almost three quarters (74.6%) were aged between 26 and 45-years-old. Breaking this statistic down further, almost half (47.3%) are aged 26 to 35, while more than a quarter (27.3%) are aged between 36 and 45-years-old.

By comparison, just 14.5% of the sample are aged between 46 and 65-years-old.

To put this statistic into context, according to the Office of National Statistics’ (ONS) national labour force survey from January, 58% of the UK working population is aged between 25 and 49. While the ONS stats are not a direct comparison to Marketing Week’s analysis, they suggest the marketing industry appears to be skewing younger than the norm.

Of course, marketing’s age problem isn’t anything new. Last year, when interrogating the issue of ageism in marketing and potential obsession with digital natives, Marketing Week columnist and former OpenJaw Technologies CMO, Colin Lewis, reported hearing countless tales from marketers struggling to be recruited into roles.

Ageism: Is marketing ‘obsessed’ with hiring digital natives?

While in industries such as law and finance “longevity is seen as good”, Lewis argued in marketing “experience doesn’t count”.

Ageism within the marketing profession has a knock-on impact on consumers. In a Marketing Week column last year, co-founder of Creative Equals/Business Helen James discussed data from her agency CPB London, which highlighted how ageism – particularly gendered-ageism – was impacting consumers.

“Is it any surprise that new research that we’ve undertaken at CPB London reveals that as women in the UK age, they increasingly feel invisible to advertisers, with six out of 10 of those aged 55-plus saying there is a distinct lack of representation of older women in advertising?” she wrote.

Using the Career and Salary Survey data, Marketing Week will explore the issue of ageism within the industry, analysing the implications for the workforce and consequences for the consumer. 

Click here to read all the latest 2023 Career and Salary Survey content 



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